Upper secondary school and vocational education and training in Finland

Lukio ja ammatillinen koulutus Suomessa
Here you will find information on studies after comprehensive school in Finland, i.e. upper secondary school and vocational education and training.

Persons who have completed basic education or the equivalent syllabus can apply to upper secondary school or vocational education and training.

In Finland education is applied for in the joint application on the Studyinfo.fi website. Persons who have completed basic education or the equivalent syllabus in another country can also apply to upper secondary school and vocational education and training in Finland. In the Åland Islands there is a separate provincial joint application.

You can get financial aid for students for post-comprehensive school education. Students coming from another Nordic country generally get financial aid from their home country. Other benefits for students can include free warm meals.

Upper secondary schools

Finnish upper secondary schools provide general education. On average, upper secondary school studies last three years and usually end with the matriculation examination. After upper secondary school students can continue studying in higher education, at universities of applied sciences or universities.

Upper secondary schools are either public or private, but studying is always free of charge. Students have to buy their own studying materials, however. In adult upper secondary school, taking individual courses in a particular subject is fee-paying, but taking the entire upper secondary school syllabus is free of charge.

Upper secondary schools usually teach in Finnish or Swedish. In the bigger cities there are also international schools, where studies can also be pursued for example in English, German or French.

Vocational education and training

A vocational upper secondary qualification can be taken as initial vocational training, a competence-based qualification or apprenticeship training. The most common option for young people who have completed basic education is day-time studies in initial training. Adults can study flexibly and complete a competence-based qualification flexibly whilst working.

As well as vocational studies, the education includes some general education, elective studies and work placements. Young people can also take upper secondary school studies or the matriculation examination alongside vocational education and training.

After completing a vocational qualification you can also apply for higher education at universities of applied sciences or universities.

Young people apply for vocational education and training starting in the autumn in the spring nationwide joint application at Studyinfo.fi. Some vocational education and training also starts in January. Applications are made through the Studyinfo.fi service, but application dates vary depending on the education.

Vocational education and training is provided in both Finnish and Swedish. Not all qualifications all are available in Swedish. There is only limited vocational education and training in English, and applications are usually made directly to the school rather than through the joint application.

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